Use Of A Child In A Sexual Performance: NY Penal Law § 263.05

by ECL Writer
Possessing A Sexual Performance By A Child

Child exploitation through the production and distribution of explicit material involving minors has been a longstanding issue. The problem has escalated in recent decades due to the widespread use of the internet, making such content easily accessible. Perpetrators can now effortlessly create and share child pornography through digital devices like cameras, cell phones, or tablets. This grave concern inflicts severe physical, emotional, and psychological harm on the young victims, prompting law enforcement to commit significant resources to combat this issue.

The legal framework in New York categorizes this form of content as “sexual performances,” encompassing various offenses related to the involvement of minors in such activities. Under New York Penal Law § 263.05, an individual may face prosecution for engaging a minor under the age of 17 in a sexual performance, either through coercion, employment, or any form of authorization. The term “performance” encompasses activities like plays, movies, photography, dances, or any visual presentations intended for an audience. The sexual content involved can range from actual sexual acts to simulated sexual behavior, including sexual intercourse, oral or anal sexual contact, masturbation, bestiality, sado-masochistic acts, or lewd exhibition of genitals.


Engaging a child in a sexual performance constitutes a class C felony in New York, as outlined in the New York Penal Law (Section 263.16). If found guilty, the penalties may encompass a potential prison term of up to 15 years, a probationary period of 10 years, and a significant monetary fine. Furthermore, you will be mandated to register as a sex offender under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act.


If your occupation necessitates inadvertent exposure to child pornography, you are not subject to child pornography charges solely due to such exposure. Occupations that might lead to incidental contact with child pornography include roles such as librarian, motion picture projectionist, stage employee, spotlight operator, cashier, doorman, usher, candy stand attendant, porter, or any other non-managerial or non-supervisory position within a theater.

New York Penal Law § 263.05: Use of a child in a sexual performance

An individual is deemed responsible for the offense of involving a child in a sexual performance if, with knowledge of its nature and content, they either hire, permit, or encourage a child under the age of seventeen to participate in a sexual performance. Additionally, if that person is the parent, legal guardian, or custodian of the child, their consent to the child’s involvement in a sexual performance also constitutes an offense.

Related Offenses

Hiring a New York Lawyer For Use of a child in a sexual performance case

Hiring a New York lawyer for a child used in a sexual performance case is crucial. The legal process is complex, and the stakes are high. A skilled attorney will provide invaluable guidance, ensuring that the child’s rights are protected, and justice is served. They navigate intricate state laws and court procedures, building a robust defense or prosecution case. Their expertise in child protection, evidence collection, and trial advocacy is essential. Most importantly, they offer emotional support to the child and their family during this harrowing ordeal. Choosing the right New York lawyer is a profound commitment to safeguarding the child’s well-being and pursuing justice.

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